Component Development for the Efficient Use of Thermal Storage Materials

© Fraunhofer ISE / Foto: Dirk Mahler
Flexible test rig for characterization and investigation of single-tank storage concepts based on molten salt for temperatures up to 550 °C.

Fraunhofer ISE develops components for the efficient use of thermal storage materials. Especially the integration of filler materials into a thermal storage system is an R&D challenge. Efficient thermal coupling between filler and working fluid and, at the same time, homogeneous flow through the storage tank are necessary to obtain optimum performance of the storage tank. The selection and layering of suitable filler materials allow significant savings compared to a storage tank without filler material.

Our R&D services include:

  • Realization of new storage and heat exchanger concepts.
  • Development and testing of components: Valves, pumps, heaters, coolers, sensors
  • Simulation of thermal and fluidic properties for component optimization
  • Development of macro-encapsulations for phase change materials (PCM)
  • Development of mass and heat exchangers for sorption storage systems

To investigate new heat exchanger solutions, we use various test rigs for performance characterization in the temperature range from -30 °C to 700 °C. For storage tanks, we develop methods and components for optimal heat storage and removal. For this purpose, we develop charging devices such as diffusers for efficient stratification. In addition, Fraunhofer ISE uses simulation tools such as »COMSOL Multiphysics® software« or »Modelica« to optimize, for example, heat exchanger structures, macrocapsules and arrangements of heat exchangers in the storage system.